Where Should You Get
Your Puppy?

(And Why Should You Care?)

Pictured is a well bred and socailzed Silky Terrier litter at about 9 weeks.

Where should you get your puppy? And why should you care?

It's broadly known that you shouldn't buy a puppy from a pet store or a commercial, large scale breeder. But this is the first SCIENTIFIC study to back this up. 

The below is a synopsis and a review of the results -- the full article may be obtained by reaching us via the "Contact Us" button.

Differences in behavioral characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from noncommercial breeders

Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACIM; James A. Serpell, PhD;

Deborah L. Duffy, PhD; Elmabrok Masaoud, phD; Ian R. Dohoo, DVM, phD

Objective: To compare the owner-reported prevalence of behavior characteristics in dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores with that of dogs obtained as puppies from noncommercial breeders.

Design: Cross-sectional study

Animals: Dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores (n=413) and breeder obtained dogs (5,657)

Procedures: Behavioral evaluations were obtained from a large convenience sample of current dog owners with the online version of the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire, which uses ordinal scales to rate either the intensity of frequency of the dogs' behavior. Hierarchic linear and logistic regression models were used to analyse the effects of source acquisition on behavioral outcomes when various confounding and intervening variables were controlled for.

Results: Pet store derived dogs received significantly less favorable scores than did breeder obtained dogs on 12 of the 14 of the behavioral variables measured; pet store dogs did not score more favorably than breeder dogs in any behavioral category. Compared with dogs obtained as puppies from non-commercial breeders, dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores had significantly greater aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs; greater fear of other dogs and non socoal stimuli; and greater separation related problems and house soiling.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Obtaining dogs from pet stores versus non-commercial breeders represented a considerable risk factor for the development of a wide range of undesirable behaviorable characteristics. Until the causes of the unfavorable differences detected in this group of dogs can be specifically identified and remedied, the authors cannot recommend that puppies be obtained from pet stores. (J AM Vet Med Assoc 2013;242:1359-1363)  

So, where should you get your puppy? For more information look up What Makes a Responsible Breeder. (Equally importantly make sure that you have what it takes with What Makes a Responsible Pet Owner.)

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